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By Usama Jawad96
Compute and storage updates are available for mission-critical applications on Azure
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft has unveiled several capabilities and updates for its Azure platform, focusing on making it easier for customers to deploy end-to-end solutions. Some of these include updates to compute and storage solutions for mission-critical applications hosted on Azure.
Server image via Shutterstock With respect to compute optimizations, on-demand capacity reservations for Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) with service-level agreements (SLAs) will arrive as a preview in April. In the same vein, customers can now scale their VMs without redeploying their scale set, with better control over cost management too. For workloads that are memory- and CPU-intensive, new Mv2 Azure VMs are available in preview as well.
On the storage end of things, multiple capabilities have been announced, once again in preview. Among these are new Azure Premium and Standard SSDs for increased data protection in case of zonal failures. Microsoft is also offering new performance tiers for customers who want higher sustained performance on Premium SSDs without having to resize it. Finally, auto-key rotation for customer-managed encryption keys (CMEKs) are live which removes some of the management burden on the customer. Backup Center has hit general availability too, this allows backup management in unified view across multiple VMs and database servers. Archive support for Azure VMs and SQL server running on Azure VMs using PowerShell is available in "limited preview" too.
Speaking of better management on cloud platforms, enhancements are available for Azure Monitor. These enable developers building Node.js applications on Linux App Services to utilize Application Insights using auto-instrumentation. Similarly, new features have been added to Azure Automanage, which is currently in preview. IT admins can now deploy security patches to Windows Server VMs in a matter of seconds.
To enable faster app development and management, Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes has hit general availability. It allows customers to manage and deploy to Kubernetes clusters efficiently via the Azure Portal and GitOps respectively. Moreover, Azure Arc-enabled machine learning is currently in preview and allows developers to build AI models in Azure Machine Learning and targeting Kubernetes clusters without having to learn Kubernetes.
Microsoft has also released a host of new services and tools to make it easier for customers to migrate their workloads to the cloud. These include enablement programs like Azure Migration Program (AMP) and FastTrack for Azure, and documentation such as the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Frameworks. Azure Migrate has new updates in preview to enable customers to easily migrate their solutions to the cloud. These include the Azure Migrate Azure PowerShell module through which customers can migrate their servers to Azure VMs in an automated way via cmdlets.
Finally, on the networking side, new options are available in Azure Load Balancer. For customers who want to upgrade and retain the same IPs, Azure Public IP SKU upgrade is now generally available. The same is the case with Azure Networking routing preference; as the same suggests, it allows customers more flexibility in deciding how their traffic is routed between Azure and the internet.
For hybrid networking scenarios, Azure Route Server, ExpressRoute Gateway metrics, Virtual WAN Remote User VPN Features, and Azure Virtual WAN are currently available in preview. Meanwhile, Scalable Bastion Gateway, advanced VPN diagnostic features, and ExpressRoute IPv6 support will be rolled out in preview soon. Over on the network security side of things, Azure Front Door and Firewall Premium have been upgraded with new capabilities and are now available in preview.
Check out our other Ignite 2021 coverage right here.
By News Staff
Network Automation Cookbook ($27.99 Value) - free download
by Steven Parker
Claim your complimentary eBook (worth $27.99) for free, before the offer expires on 02/03.
Network Automation Cookbook is designed to help system administrators, network engineers, and infrastructure automation engineers to centrally manage switches, routers, and other devices in their organization's network.
This book will help you gain hands-on experience in automating enterprise networks and take you through core network automation techniques using the latest version of Ansible and Python.
With the help of practical recipes, you'll learn how to build a network infrastructure that can be easily managed and updated as it scales through a large number of devices. You'll also cover topics related to security automation and get to grips with essential techniques to maintain network robustness. As you make progress, the book will show you how to automate networks on public cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure. Finally, you will get up and running with Ansible 2.9 and discover troubleshooting techniques and network automation best practices.
By the end of this book, you'll be able to use Ansible to automate modern network devices and integrate third-party tools such as NAPALM, NetBox, and Batfish easily to build robust network automation solutions.
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By News Staff
Save 95% off this Complete Computer Networking eBook & Video Course Bundle
by Steven Parker
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By Ather Fawaz
Intel shows promising progress and key advances in integrated photonics for data centers
by Ather Fawaz
Image via Intel Press Kit The effective management, control, and scaling of electrical input/output (I/O) are crucial in data centers today. Innovative ideas like Microsoft's Project Natick, which submerged a complete data center underwater, and optical computing and photonics, which aim to use light as a basic energy source in a device and for transferring information.
Building on this, at the Intel Labs Day 2020 conference today, Intel highlighted key advances in the fundamental technology building blocks that are a linchpin to the firm's integrated photonics research. These building blocks include light generation, amplification, detection, modulation, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS), all of which are essential to achieve integrated photonics.
Among the first noteworthy updates, Intel showed off a prototype that featured tight coupling of photonics and CMOS technologies. This served as a proof-of-concept of future full integration of optical photonics with core compute silicon. Intel also highlighted micro-ring modulators that are 1000x smaller than contemporary components found in electronic devices today. This is particularly significant as the size and cost of conventional silicon modulators have been a substantial barrier to bringing optical technology onto server packages, which require the integration of hundreds of these devices.
The key developments can be summarized as follows:
These results point towards the extended use of silicon photonics beyond the upper layers of the network and onto future server packages. The firm also believes that it paves a path towards integrating photonics with low-cost, high-volume silicon, which can eventually power our data centers and networks with high-speed, low-latency links.
Image via Intel Press Kit “We are approaching an I/O power wall and an I/O bandwidth gap that will dramatically hinder performance scaling", said James Jaussi, who is the Senior Principal Engineer and Director of the PHY Lab at Intel Labs. He signaled that the firm's "research on tightly integrating photonics with CMOS silicon can systematically eliminate barriers across cost, power, and size constraints to bring the transformative power of optical interconnects to server packages.”
By Richard C.
Since installing the 20h2 (or maybe slightly before, however it's roughly when this started) I've noticed that if intermittently the system hangs after posting but before starting to boot. This seems to happen if the system has been running for a long time (say 5 hours or so) between restarts. I disabled my bios logo to see if this was an issue with the bios or after the bios has handed control to windows. And the hanging occurs after the windows boot logo shows, but before the spinning circle appears, which spins round once or twice and the I can login as normal.
I've tried changing a few things (such as disabling legacy csm) and it hasn't seemed to of helped. There are no obvious error messages showing in the reliability centre or event logs.
What's the next to resolving this? Is anyone else having this issue too?